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NSLC | Credit Options

NSLC Program—Political Action and Public Policy

Political Action and Public Policy (1 credit)

Course taught primarily online. Students will attend an introductory class on campus and access instructional materials upon returning home at hours that suit their own schedules. This instruction may include lectures recorded by their professor, podcasts, documentaries, and discussion posts. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Blackboard platform. Professors remain accessible to student questions for 30 days after the on-campus segment.

Course Description: The course examines why and how individuals organize to influence government in the development of public policy. Students are introduced to interest group politics, effective advocacy, the tools of political communication, and policy development and analysis. The course will examine critical domestic policy areas, such as energy, environment, education, health, justice, and economic stability.

Course Outline

Professor: Samantha Guthrie is a doctoral candidate in American University's Department of Government studying American politics. Her research interests include executive and legislative relationships, state politics, the presidency, Congress, and elite political behavior. Samantha graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she earned her BA in both political science and journalism. Prior to attending American University she worked at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, traveling to schools throughout NYC raising awareness of blood cancers and the importance of charitable giving. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between an executive and his or her legislature, examining what institutional or behavioral factors may influence the power dynamics between the branches. She has taught classes on campaigns and elections and American politics.

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